The appointment takes the agency to 20 full-time staff. Sheppard will work on Axon's international account for Roche's hepatitis B and C treatment Pegasys. She will lead a five-strong UK-based team, working with five further PROs at Axon's office in Toronto.
Sheppard took up her Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis role when Sanofi and Aventis merged two years ago. An 18-year pharma industry veteran, she was previously with Aventis in Australia.
MD Ralph Sutton said Axon's size had doubled in the past year, on the back of new-business wins from Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and Mundipharma.
Axon has promoted associate director Ruth Slater to director, medical comms and clinical research consulting.